Angola reaps oil reform benefits as Nigeria fiddles with PIGB

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Angola and Nigeria, two of Africa’s biggest oil producing countries need foreign direct investments to grow their oil and gas industry but whilst one is going ahead with significant reforms and pulling in investors, the other drags along.

With its upcoming marginal field bidding round, on-going licensing of several blocks from this year onward, and numerous opportunities across the gas value-chain, Angola has become one of the most attractive and lucrative markets for oil investors on the continent.

Production levels in Angola are expected to soar by 2020 following the country’s restructuring, including the reorganisation of the state oil company Sonangol. This adds to a drastic revision of Angola’s legislation related to oil and gas. The government is determined to spur growth in the sector, encourage exploration in development areas, improve operation efficiencies, reduce taxes, empower the private sector, and attract investors.

“The creation of the new Angola National Petroleum and Gas Agency officially launched through Presidential Decree 49/19 in February 2019, is one of the most significant reforms since 2017” said Sergio Pugliese, the new African Energy Chamber President for Angola, a successful entrepreneur and oil executive, in an interview May 13.

Creation of the ANPG is part of Angola’s efforts to streamline and overhaul the governance of its hydrocarbons sector. The Agency will act as the country’s national concessionaire for hydrocarbon licences and be in charge of regulating the industry and implementing government policy. Up until now, state owned Sonangol was responsible for such licensing activities.

Nigeria’s story with oil and gas sector reform efforts has been neither as significant nor as swift as what is happening in Angola. On April 17, the Nigerian Senate reconsidered the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), which was rejected by President Muhammadu Buhari last year.

The PIGB …